Stopping overdose with over-the-counter medicines: What mother and father must know

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Over-the-counter medicine security ideas and suicide prevention

With the COVID-19 pandemic, traumatic world occasions, media consumption and social pressures, kids and teenagers are already below immense strain. Now with the back-to-school season in full swing, they’re dealing with the added strain of schoolwork, extra-curricular actions and social lives, which may probably amplify stress, nervousness, despair and emotions of isolation.

With that in thoughts, a CHOC psychologist warns mother and father in opposition to the potential for youngsters and teenagers to overdose on medicines discovered within the house. 

For lots of the pediatric sufferers that Dr. Missi Nadeau has handled for tried suicide, the perpetrator, although, isn’t prescription medicines. Slightly, kids and teenagers are reaching for what’s accessible and generally present in house drugs cupboards: acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and diphenhydramine (generally often called Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl).

These kids and teenagers are searching for a method of escape. Dr. Nadeau says, “They’re in severe misery and making an attempt suicide. They’re searching for aid.”

The next signs are frequent amongst individuals who could have overdosed on medicine:  

  • Vomiting
  • Erratic habits
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Modifications in coronary heart charge 
  • Abdomen ache

One of many largest signs of an overdose is extreme vomiting. If that is occurring to your baby, it’s necessary to verify they’re positioned with their head tilted down to forestall aspirating — or respiration vomit into their airway. Name 911 or take them to your nearest emergency division.

Defend your medicines at house

To guard your kids and teenagers from overdosing on over-the-counter medicines, Dr. Nadeau recommends:

  • Lock up all of your medicines – not solely your prescriptions. Small medical lock bins are comparatively cheap and might be bought on-line and at most massive retailers.
  • Personally dispense all medicines, together with over-the-counter medicines and perscriptions, to your kids and clarify that you simply or one other trusted grownup should be those to provide them drugs.
  • Educate your kids and teenagers concerning the potential for over-the-counter medicine toxicity. 

Dr. Nadeau urges, “Even when 50% of fogeys lock up over-the-counter medicines, there can be 50% fewer instances of overdoses within the emergency division. It’s a easy security step for an enormous drawback.” 

Search for the warning indicators

These suicide makes an attempt are usually not restricted to kids or teenagers with identified psychological well being diseases. Due to the strain of lecturers, social media, relationship issues with household and buddies, overdoses might be attributable to loneliness, feeling overwhelmed, and isolation, Dr. Nadeau says.

Dr. Nadeau encourages mother and father to be looking out for the next warning indicators that their baby could also be in emotional misery:

  • Isolating themselves from family and friends
  • Their grades are dropping, and they’re failing to finish and switch of their vital assignments
  • Alcohol and marijuana use
  • Turning into disinterested in or quitting their extra-curricular actions
  • Sleep disruption; staying in mattress throughout the daytime
  • Elevated social media consumption, extreme video gaming, or binge-watching streaming films/reveals
  • Outbursts and disruptive habits – turning into shortly angered or excessively crying
  • Skipping college
  • Harming themselves – making cuts on their thighs and higher arms the place it will not be simply observed
  • Elevated curiosity in loss of life, freely giving possessions, texting or posting to social media closing messages to buddies/household

If mother and father discover a cluster of those behaviors from teenagers and youngsters, they need to contact their pediatrician. In the event you consider your baby is in peril of wounding themselves or one other particular person, name 911 or go to the closest emergency division. Different sources embrace the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255, which supplies 24/7 free and confidential assist for individuals in misery.

Talk successfully

Mother and father can assist their youngsters; they will function function fashions and leaders of their households. Dr. Nadeau provides these methods to assist mother and father attend to their baby’s psychological well being:

  • Ask your youngsters questions. Don’t settle for “positive” as a solution. Ask high quality questions, discuss to them and learn how they’re actually doing.
  • Belief however confirm. If in query, don’t be afraid to confirm who yours youngsters are going to fulfill and what the true plans are.
  • Monitor your baby’s educational progress on their college’s dad or mum viewer site, if attainable.
  • Monitor social media. Youngsters and teenagers have entry to unrestricted and probably dangerous data on social media they usually want steering and mentorship. Monitor how a lot time they’re spending and what they’re accessing.

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